Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Books, books, books

I love books. I read ALL THE TIME. I want to write books (even have one started). So when I was tagged with this meme from the gals at Let's Write Now! I thought it would be a piece of cake, right up my alley, a walk in the park... I was wrong. There are a couple that I still don't have answers for - and I've been thinking on this for days. So I'll just do it and let the pages fall where they may.

1. ONE BOOK THAT CHANGED MY LIFE: Gone with the Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
I'm not sure when I read this for the first time. I was fairly young - 10 to 12 as I recall. It was a major undertaking, being 1039 pages. But Margaret Mitchell caught me before the first page was finished and that was all it took. It changed me as a reader. I always read the stuff they assigned at school, but never really went out on my own to discover reading for pleasure for myself. GONE WITH THE WIND turned me into a real reader.

2. ONE BOOK THAT I HAVE READ MORE THAN ONCE: From the Corner of His Eye (Dean Koontz)
Actually, most of the books I've read, I will read again. But this one... this one I enjoy on a variety of levels. The ideas that Koontz puts forth intrigue me. He has grown as a writer, from the first book of his that I've read - LIGHTNING, which I read in one night, to WATCHERS which was truly inspired, to his fiction of today. Of course there were a couple of misses along the way, but overall, he has come from being a very damaged human being writing his trouble in metaphor to a man who is happy and at peace with himself and his past and can truly be insightful and funny at the same time. I've read many Koontz books more than once - and will read them again!

This might seem like an odd choice. Yes, it is dark. Yes, it is scary. You get to see people at their worst when the world crumbles around them. Society is, in effect, cancelled. But you also see people at their best, building a new world together and defeating the very literal forces of evil by the very love they have in their hearts. After all is said and done, it is a book about hope. It is a cautionary tale that holds many truths - including the fact that evil doesn't always know that it IS evil. Sometimes, evil is just the search for acceptance.

4. ONE BOOK THAT MADE ME LAUGH: Big Trouble (Dave Barry)
This was easy. This one popped into my mind immediately. I read LOTS of funny books, but it's a rare one that makes me drop it, grab myself in a hug and laugh until tears run down my face. BIG TROUBLE is such a book. The sheer lunacy of the thing is a joy to behold.

5. ONE BOOK THAT MADE ME CRY: This is one I can't answer. Lots of books make me sniffle, but I can't honestly think of one that had me bawling like a baby. I'm sure there's one or two, but I just can't come up with them at the moment.

6. ONE BOOK THAT I WISH I HAD WRITTEN: Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone (JK Rowling)
Oh, to have that kind of imagination! To make up a whole group of people, ideas, spells and such is just so phenomenal. I would like to have written the whole series, but the first one is the one I wish for the most.

I'm sure I will get in trouble with someone over this choice. It's not because I hate the Bible or Christians or anything like that. But I have trouble with the idea of people taking the Bible literally, the idea that it was written by God (it was written by men, and what was included was decided by a committee). While the Book is the basis for many, many good teachings and tells the story of Jesus and some of his life - this book has also been used to twist so many events and people to the advantage of cults, politicians, and greedy people. I wish, sometimes, that people were born with the knowledge of God already imprinted on their hearts and that a book wasn't necessary.

8. ONE BOOK I AM CURRENTLY READING: Day of the Dead (JA Jance)
I adore JA Jance's books. She has three different "groups". The first group features JP Beaumont as a detective in Seattle. The second features JoAnna Brady as a female sheriff in Arizona. The last group is a little harder to define. There are only three of them (so far), and they revolve around various members of a family that includes a teacher, a sheriff, a little boy, an adopted Indian girl, various step-brothers, an old Indian woman and some murderers. Each book is different, but they should be read in order or you will be lost in the storyline. The first one is HOUR OF THE HUNTER, second is KISSED BY BEES, and third is DAY OF THE DEAD. I believe I have read all of her books.

9. ONE BOOK I HAVE BEEN MEANING TO READ: The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope (Jonathan Alter)
I've heard the same interview with the author twice on NPR and I am eager to read this book! I knew about it, but could never remember the name or the author. I looked it up on NPR's website just now so I could be specific when I wrote about it. Now I know exactly what to look for! Hurray!

10. WHO'S NEXT? Alice-in-Wonderbread


Alice in Wonderbread said...

oo fun- I'll post answers on my blog later after woik.

Oh, The Joys said...

Nice #7, Sayre.

nikki said...

what about diana galbaldon or janet evonovich? i also like laurie notaro. she's faboulas!